Friday, October 28, 2011

Stashometer goes through the roof!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's only my paper stash I'm trying to work through, and it's true, that is often what I focus on, and what I tend to use the most of.  Here are three pages I've made recently and why they would send the stashometer crazy . . .

Page one: Slip'n'Slide
 Firstly,  a page I made based on the October  "stretch your sketch" from Two Peas.  It was another set of pretty photos that sat around for a long time because I don't really "do" pretty photos without a story attached.  But finally, when this sketch came along, I decided to let the photos speak for themselves, hence the lack of any journalling.  Stashometer-wise:
  • The background paper is from an old DCWV stack I bought at Big W several years ago.  Truth is, I've used those papers heaps, but 48 is a lot of sheets of paper!
  • The rest of the PP is offcuts from the same stack  (except the die-cut border, which I cut for my "inspire" layout but decided it was too large to use)
  • Letter and word tiles are REALLY OLD, and the none of the word tiles had been used before!
  • Tags had been bought in a set of 100 at the local newsagent, also several years ago
Page two: twice the fun
This page began when I read the newsletter from my local scrapbook shop, Shop and Crop,  announcing a monthly sketch!  Not a challenge coming from across the globe, but from the very next suburb!  How could I not take part!
I never used to be one of those scrappers who say things like "I always use a minimum of three patterned papers on a page"  In fact, for the longest time, it wouldn't occur to me to use more than one, mainly due to keeping the cost down.  On this page, though:
  • I used three untouched PP (all quite old) as well as a sheet of cardstock.  The pinks came back from my sister's honeymoon to the US in 2004!
  • The sparkle comes from that old favourite, Kindyglitz.

Page 3 is my entry into the Colorful Creations Round Robin.It features:

  • 3 patterned papers (all also unused) of similar vintage to those used above.  The butterfly paper comes from the honeymoon also, and the purple actually had a date of 2002 on the back!
  • I remember buying the PP with the words on it after reading an article in a magazine, where the author suggested using the words on such papers as a fun addition to journalling and titles.  Great idea, but I just never used them . . . until now!
  • more of the pastel letter tiles
  • lace from the endless collection I've acquired from my Mum's even more endless collection

Friday, October 21, 2011

A less literal interpretation . . .

I've been pretty proud of myself this year, feeling like I am exploring new avenues of creativity, taking inspiration from all sorts of places, but I've recently made an unpleasant discovery:

sometimes I'm too literal.
It's true.  And here's proof.  I came across this beautiful inspiration piece from Scrapbook Boutique:

 I thought, OK, that's easy.  I imagined a black card, with a white paper flower, a black button centre and silver rhinestones around the outside.  And that was fine, until I did their blog hop and saw what the DT had come up with.  Oh.  That was when it hit me.  Like my less than satisfactory CC September round robin page, I  don't seem to kow the difference between "inspiration" and "copying". 
Would my idea have been a nice card? Sure.  Creative? Not so much.
Here is the card I finally came up with:

I was originally going for elegant bling, but the holographic silver paper (which actually came from some packaging) meant it turned out more disco bling!

This layout is one I did for Lets Scrap challenge 117.  They gave you a list of embellishments to try, and I chose to make my flags (or banners) out of fabric:

And here's that literal thing again: I kept worrying that I didn't have all the elements - and in the same spot - as on the sketch.  Hang on, whose page is this anyway? Eventually I turned the sketch over and refused to look at it any more!  The photos are in the same place as on the sketch, and I used the idea of the banners and the circle elements, but I have moved things around a bit to work for me. 
I felt that the red of my banner was a bit bright, so I splashed a bit of white and orange paint over it to soften it a bit.  then I splashed some more paint around the edge of the page.  That's what my kitchen looks like at the end of a cooking session, after all!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Take one", and Pagemaps October challenge

Here is a page I've had planned for a little while, the second page based on my "spend less, craft more" project - this time based on a mantra (for want of a better word) I created at the start of  this year:
Focus on what inspires you to create
(not on what inspires you to spend)
(you can see the original post here)
When I saw the current sketch at Page Maps, I knew the time had come to make this page.  Here it is:

The paper that the pink flowery shapes comes from is one that has been sitting in my stash close on a year.  It's a Basic Grey, which I love, but those patterns were just too big . . . it was such a relief to realize I could  "fussy cut" a few shapes rather than use the whole piece;  I was then able to give myself permission to use the reverse side (the orange dots).  I am already using the offcuts in another project!
Do you recognize any of the photos on this page?  Just for fun, I tried choosing a ribbon from the photo of my ribbon box . . .the green ribbon turned out to be perfect, and was just the right size for the ribbon punch!
For this page, I also took a challenge called "take one" which comes from SJ's Little Musings, a blog I came across through Shimelle Lane's blog.  And any friend of Shimelle's, well, let's just say I was happy to take a peek.  The idea behind "take one" is this: instead of taking inspiration from outside sources, to go back to what you love about your own pages, choose one element, and use that as inspiration!
While going through some of my family albums over the weekend, it struck me that I love it when I combine my word and letter stamps. Sometimes as a title, sometimes as journalling or as accents.   Here is one example, and this is my "take one":

PS. The "inspire" diecut came from, which I also came across thanks to Shimelle!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Three wedding pages and a . . . (actually just the wedding pages)

Back in 2004, when my sister got married, our boys were in the party as ring bearers.  At some point after the event, I did  mini-album, but not so long ago I started thinking, this is a story that is missing from the boy's albums, so I had some photos printed, and here is the results, starting with the page for Rohan's album . . .

We've all seen those pages in the Scrapbooking magazines where they go, "see, you can use flowers on a male page".  Well this is my version! I figure it's pretty safe seeing he was only 5 at the time, and it is, after all, a page about a wedding . . . they're pretty masculine colours, too.
I had two different stories I wanted to tell for Angus.  Here's the first one I made . . .

How gorgeous is this photos?  It's one of my all-time favourites! (I can't take the credit, my brother was the official photographer at the event).  It looks like Angus (not even 3 at the time) is the last guest at the wedding, absorbed in his cake!  I used sketch 268 from Scrapbook Challenges as my starting point (which, I just realized, is last month's challenge, not this one, but anyhow, it still looks good).  The background paper that I used was a really old Basic Grey that I have had forever, have never found a page for, but no way was I throwing it out!  It works perfectly for this page!  If you double click for a closer look, you might be able to see how well it matches the upholstery on the chairs!
For the next page, I had originally pulled out some totally different papers, but then, (just after I had put everything away) decided that I wanted it to relate a bit more closely, so got everything out again!

This is one of those family stories which take on legend status and will never be forgotten.  For that reason, I didn't want to journal it in too much detail, just enough of a hint that a non-family member who came across this page will get a bit of a hint, and might ask for more details . . . and if you are that non-family member, here's what happened:
When we arrived at my sister's the day before the wedding, I suggested that a rehearsal for my very young, never-been-ringbearers-before sons would have an idea of what to expect.  But she was a busy, distracted bride-to-be and she'd already had her rehearsal, so that was that.
But on the day, poor, not-quite-three year-old Angus was quite upset when the minister took the ring off his little pillow.  The whole congregation heard the now famous line:
"why did that man take my ring?"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

13 photos on a one page layout!

How awesome is this idea from Shimelle at Two Peas?  Her September 4x6 photo love class incorporates 9 photos by putting 2 photos on both sides of those inserts you can see . . .  but I had 13 photos so added a third insert. What a fun, interactive idea!
Shimelle uses transparency for her pocket.  I, on the other hand, don't own any transparency, but am always looking for ways to use vellum, so, voilla!  I thought about stamping over it to give it a bit of pattern, but ended up deciding there was enough going on, what with the patterned papers and all those photos and all.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Mother-daughter craft session (and some cute dog scrapbook pages)

Rob had just headed off to Canberra with Angus, and Rohan was at the skate park, so what better time to have a mother-daughter craft/bonding session?  I have learnt that Maddy likes to do the odd scrapbook page, so last time I had some photos printed out I got done especially for her, of her favourite subject matter - Hamish!
She loves to see her work on my blog, and here it is _ Super Star Hamish!
Here's Maddy telling you how to make shooting stars: "you punch out stars and then you cut out around the stars you've punched out.  Then you get some white ribbon and fold it in half, and then you staple it onto your stars.  That's all you have to do!"

And now for some pages I have been working on . . .
 This is the last of the pages documenting our friends moving interstate, this one for Angus's album.
For this page about when our friend's puppy came to stay, I had the idea for the journalling before he'd even left, even though it took a few months to get the photos printed out.  It showcases all the naughty puppy things he got up to, but hopefully also shows how much we loved having him stay!
 What I also love about this page is that I used up the offcuts to two different patterned papers as well as the light blue cardstock.  The journalling spot is a spare die-cut from another layout.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A tour of my "work in progress" folder

I knew that the week I pulled out of "So you think you can scrap" would be when it required a product I didn't already own.  That happened this week, where 3 halloween-themed papers where required. I'm actually glad to be out, not because it wasn't fun, but because it frees me up to catch up on the many pages in my "work in progress" folder.  If  I complete one or two of these a week plus my round robin at the end of the month, I'll call this a very successful month!
 So join me on a tour of my folder, and you'll see what pages I have ready to scrap (and some of the reasons they're not finished!):
  • photos of Rob and I on some play equipment.  I think it is waiting for a suitable challenge (above)
  • a double of a trip to a Yum Cha restaurant with my brother and his girlfriend.  I have changed my mind a number of times on what the background and PP should be.  Currently have black cardstock ready to go, and excited about a suitable heading on the Silhouette. (left)
  •  The third page based on my kid's friends moving to Tassie - this one for Angus (right).  Having trouble deciding how to position the photos, but they way I spread them to take this snap has given me an idea . . .
  • Photos of Maddy and my brother from different occasions; once I printed them out I thought I had other photos for a double, but now I think I'll probably go with a single (below) 

  •  A double about Rohan being 12.  It's been at this stage for ages, just needing journalling and hopefully some sort of embellishment. (right)
  •  Angus's first day of Kindergarten

  • A double about Rohan doing some cooking after watching Masterchef.  I have a Let's Scrap sketch that could work , and it's waiting for a challenge that could go with it. (right)
  •  Rohan's school photos from this year (Year 7).
  • Some gorgeous photos of Maddy on the Slip n slide.  I've had the papers picked out for ages, and a title done on the Sizzix.  Don't really know why this one didn't get finished (or why I didn't photograph it today - probably just skipped a page)
  • Photos of Rohan's debating team from year 5.
  • A double about a trip on the harbour on our neighbour's boat.  I was thinking about doing a "page and a half" style layout for this one. (below)
  • Angus' birthday party from this year.  All finished bar the journalling.
  • Rohan's year 5 school photos. 
And finally comes 4 pages I wanted to do from the newest lot of photos I had printed last week.  I challenged myself to use only offcuts (apart from the background PP or cardstock:
  • A page each for Rohan and Angus from my sister's wedding back in 2004, when they were ring bearers.   Hardly new photos, but I realized that while I had done a mini album on the event, the boys didn't have pages in their own albums.(right)
  • Photos from Christmas time about a gingerbread house kit we (attempted) to put together. (above)
  • And the story of when we minded our friend's puppy, Henry.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Some big spending.

Wow, some money has been spent recently, which is where you, my blog comes in handy to keep me accountable to the end of the year - I don't want to come so far only to overspend in the last couple of months!
First up came a 75c sale at the Silhouette online store.  I used up the voucher that came with the machine and bought a few extra images.  Hopefully I have chosen images that will all be useful.  The good thing is that now I know they have sales, I will wait for the next one before I buy any more images.  I don't know what the exchange rate was at the time, but I spent something like about $5.  Not too damaging so far!
But now for the big spend with the big story.  At the start of last year, I signed up for a "Bazzill in a box" subscription, where I received a pizza box full of cardstock in the colours of my choice, every 3 months.  The problem was, of course, I wasn't using it as fast as I was getting it.  Just another step on the road that created the need for "spend less, craft more".
Now, you might think I would have just cancelled the subscription outright at the start of the year, but . . . the second last box I received last year was in the wrong colours, so when I pointed it out to them, they gave me the next box for free, only charging me for postage.  Now call me soft, but I just felt bad about that last box being free and wanted to buy just one more.  I did put it back quite a few times, but eventually sent in my colour requests for August.  The weeks went by and still no parcel . . . maybe they'd lost my order and weren't going to send it at all? I started to think maybe that was a good thing, and wondered whether to cancel the box . . .  but what if I sent the request when the parcel was on its way to me in the mail?  I adopted a bit of a "head in the sand" approach and did nothing at all, hoping the problem would go away, even spending a big $50+ at my LSS.  But of course it didn't go away, and one day, at the end of September, a pizza box arrived on my doorstep. I'm actually really happy with the box, I only ordered colours where I have a real gap - I was totally out of white, and other than that it's almost all blues and greens, both colours I will be using.
There wasn't an invoice in the box, so again, I'll have to wait to look at my credit card bill to know exactly how much it was.  I am estimating that I have about $15 left to spend for the whole year! That's $5 a month! At the start of the year I thought $5 a week would be hard!
9 months in, I see it as a challenge.  Bring it on, I say!

Cull if Necessary

I've got a little something to share with you . . . come closer and I'll tell you . . .

(I'm not very good at throwing things away)

What was that, you couldn't hear me?  I'll say it again then . . . .

I'm not very good at throwing things away!

Alright, for some of you, that isn't actually anything you didn't already know.  "Hoarding tendencies", I call it; they're not about to make a TV episode about me anytime soon. But who knows?  With the right trigger (or maybe I should say, the wrong trigger) maybe I'll turn into some crazy old lady whose children won't visit because she loves her collection of paper scraps more than she loves them.
So the other day,  I can't quite remember why, but I decided to separate all my thin offcut strips from all the other offcuts so that I'm more likely to use them.  Turns out I've got heaps . . . border punched strips I didn't end up using, bar-code strips from double-sided papers . . . you get the idea.

It sort of turned into a full-on purge of scraps. And if you're like me and culling is hard, when the mood strikes . . .  you cull!!!!
The more I like a particular colour, the smaller piece I will keep for later use . . . but clearly this year I have been making scraps faster than I have been using them.  When  I finished, I couldn't believe how much I had managed to part with!  I took a quick photo before taking it out to the bin.
 Just to prove to myself that separating out the strips was a worthy project, here's a card I whipped up with some of them:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Recycled dog coat

From a dog with a lovey warm fur coat . . . 

To a dog in a recycled coat . . .

In just two mouse clicks! From here to here! (and an old jumper and some sewing, obviously)
We just took Hamish camping for the weekend.  Michelle, my dog grooming friend, told me I must get him clipped before we went - and that she would do it for me - because the ticks are pretty bad where we've just been.  And then we realized - it's going to be pretty cold of an evening, and he's used to having a lot more fur!  Hence the coat.  It stretched pretty quickly, and with the rain and mud, got pretty filthy, but I think he really appreciated the extra warmth!  And we think he looks pretty cute, don't you?